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  • Touro University California researchers embark on study to link diabetes prediction and prevention to fingerprints

For Immediate Release

Contact: Andrea E. Garcia, Touro University California
Associate Vice President, University Advancement

W: (707) 638-5272
C: (707) 280-8771

Touro University California researchers embark on study to link diabetes prediction and prevention to fingerprints

VALLEJO – May 25, 2016 –At Touro University California’s state of the art research facility, researchers have begun studies to investigate the use of fingerprints as identifiers to predict and prevent diabetes.

Currently more than 29 million Americans have diabetes with ninety percent of those suffering from Type 2. One-third of people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes suffer complications by the time they are diagnosed, which has typically been in their early 50s but is getting younger. In California, fifty-five percent of the population is currently diagnosed as having pre-diabetes or diabetes. The result is a state and a nation desperate for prevention and resolution. Early detection allows those at risk to take the necessary steps to lessen the impact of the disease and potentially prevent it from developing.

Diabetes expert and world-renowned researcher, Dr. Jay Shubrook of Touro University California, stands ready to find a resolution not only for Californians but all of those affected by this epidemic disease. “Too many people are at risk for Type 2 diabetes, and, without having access to early information, may not have the opportunity to take the necessary actions to stop this largely preventable disease. Early information allows for early intervention.”

Fingerprints were chosen for the study because, similar to diabetes, they are influenced by both genetics and the gestational environment. Fingerprints form early, beginning with the thumb at six weeks and ending with the pinky at 17 weeks, and thereafter remain unchanged.

Many current tests for diabetes prediction involve genetic testing which is not readily available to the general public. The simple scan of a finger, on the other hand, can predict one’s risk of type 2 diabetes as early as 17 weeks after conception. If the prints on the left hand do not match those on the right, a phenomenon known as asymmetry, the subject is determined to be at risk for developing diabetes. The study, based on the concept of “fluctuating asymmetry,” maintains that an organism’s ability to cope with environmental stresses is reflected in deviation from perfect bilateral body symmetry. The greater the deviation, the lower the ability to cope with environmental stress, making it more likely for certain diseases to occur later in life.

“Our healthcare system and economy cannot support the rapid expansion of diabetes,” said Dr. Michael Clearfield, Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine. “Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes, is largely preventable and wholly treatable. Touro is committed to being a part of the solution to this growing epidemic. We need to find people at risk to reduce the disease burden and reduce health care costs.”

Findings from further studies being done may eventually lead to the development of simple screening tests to determine the risk for developing diabetes and associated health problems. The simplicity of this test means that it can be widely available to the public.

Recently Touro celebrated the grand opening of its Translational Research Clinic. This new facility will be utilized to focus efforts on high public health impact issues such as diabetes and obesity. Research will span the full spectrum from the basic sciences, to translational research, to clinical trials, and eventually to a public health perspective.  All pertinent information will be simultaneously incorporated into the physician curriculum at Touro to ensure that students are well versed in cutting edge technology and research.

About Touro University California

Touro University California is a Jewish nonprofit, independent graduate institution of higher learning founded in 1997 on three Judaic values: social justice, the pursuit of knowledge and service to humanity. The university, home to 1,400 students, has professional programs in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physician assistant studies, public health, nursing, and education. Faculty, staff and students have a powerful commitment to academic excellence, evidence-based professional practice, inter-professional collaboration, and active engagement with a global community. To learn more, visit www.tu.edu or call 707-638-5200.


For media information, please contact:

Mandi McCary

About the Touro College and University System:

Touro is a system of non-profit institutions of higher and professional education. Touro College was chartered in 1970 primarily to enrich the Jewish heritage, and to serve the larger American and global community. Approximately 18,000 students are currently enrolled in its various schools and divisions. Touro has 35 campuses and locations in New York, California, Nevada, Illinois, Berlin, Jerusalem and Moscow. New York Medical College; Touro University California and Touro University Nevada; Touro University Worldwide and its Touro College Los Angeles division; as well as Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Ill. are separately accredited institutions within the Touro College and University System. For further information on Touro College, please go to: www.touro.edu/news